Sleep paralysis is a short term inability to move before sleep and while waking up that can be treatable if you know how to wake up from sleep paralysis. These events are short, lasting only a few minutes, but can be very scary! If you are experiencing paralysis and are unable to move in bed while falling asleep or waking up in the morning schedule an appointment with a sleep specialists near your right away!
How do I get Sleep Paralysis
Sleep paralysis happens when your body enters REM sleep and your brain turns off muscle groups to protect your body from damage during vivid dreams. Dreams are very intense during the REM phase of sleep and if the body is not “paralyzed” you may find yourself sleep walking or acting out your dreams in other ways!
Is Sleep Paralysis Deadly?
Many people that experience sleep paralysis worry that it is a deadly condition. The thought of finding themselves dying, hallucinating and unable to move due to sleep paralysis is truly scary! Fortunately, sleep paralysis is not a deadly condition so there is no need to worry about suddenly passing away.
What Happens during Sleep Paralysis
During a sleep paralysis episode the body remains paralyzed after waking up from REM sleep. During paralysis people have reported feeling a crushing weight on their chest and being unable to move while still being full aware of their surroundings.
Nighttime sleep paralysis, also called hypagogic sleep paralysis, can disturb sleep cycles and make going to bed at night a scary experience. Morning sleep paralysis, also called hypnopompic sleep paralysis, can interrupt daily plans and make it difficult to go to work or even leave the house!
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Sleep Paralysis Treatments
While sleep paralysis is treatable most psychologist, neurologist and other sleep specialists agree that medication is not the best treatment for sleep paralysis. Instead doctors focus on improving sleep habits, reducing anxiety associated with sleep and treating any coexisting disorders or illnesses.
Some of the most common treatments for sleep paralysis are:
- Improving your diet
- Avoiding caffeine
- Establishing a nighttime routine
- Exercising more
- Avoiding naps
- Turning off the bedroom TV
Sleep Paralysis and Lucid Dreaming
Sleep paralysis is more common in individuals that experience lucid dreams. During a lucid dream the dreamer is completely aware that they are asleep and dreaming and sometimes are even able to control what happens! Unfortunately this can cause hallucinations and paralysis due to the split state of your body and mind.
If you feel yourself falling out of a lucid dream into sleep paralysis try these tips:
- Take deep breaths
- Move your extremeties
- Talk to yourself and remind yourself what is happening
- Try to swallow
- Keep your eyes open and moving